Saturday, August 01, 2015

Is the OnePlus 2 really the 2016 Flagship Killer?

Making a recording of the VR launch, watching it several times, watching many review videos and articles about the NEW OnePlus 2 has left me thinking and wanting to post my own two cents. First, watch the VR launch (non-VR version) if you haven't:

Is the OnePlus 2 really the 2016 Flagship Killer?

The answer is both Yes AND No. Yes, because it has some of the top hardware you can get. No, because it doesn't live up to the hype.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Install a flat file blog in a subfolder in an existing Google App Engine website

 NOTICE:  This post is not very useful as a guide. It is documenting the failures I encountered trying to set up a flat file blog in a subfolder in GAE. Read for your pleasure, but don't try to follow it.

Google App Engine (GAE) allows you to set up a simple PHP website easily and for free with generous quotas - more than enough for a low traffic site. There are several guides on how to get one working. However, GAE works differently from traditional web hosting. Access is tightly controlled through app.yaml file; the static files and application files are separate from each other; and the application file system is not writable.

As WordPress requires a MySQL database (chargeable under Google Cloud SQL), I looked for a flat file blogging alternative.
  • Dropplets looks too simple and feature-poor. It doesn't have a comment system integration out-of-the-box, but Disqus can be added later. There is no rich text editor - plain text editing required in Markdown syntax. Google: 52,300 results
  • FlatPress looks too 90's and unattractive (sorry!). I'm sure you can build a modern look for it. It too doesn't have a ready comment system integration. No rich text editor - uses BBCode. Google: 252,000 results
  • HTMLy looks very promising and feature-rich while being simple. It's under very active development, and it's from South East Asia (Indonesia, to be precise). It doesn't look mature enough (began 2014). Google: 41,900 results
  • TextPress also looks promising, and it is mature (began 2012). The development has become less active as a result, and seems to mainly concentrate on bug fixes. This may be a more stable choice. Google: 312,000 results
  • PivotX supports both flat file and database, and it's very feature-rich to match. However, it looks like an overkill for a simple blog, with too much going on. Although open source, I couldn't find an online repository (like GitHub) for it. Google: 242,000 results
My requirement is to install the blog in a subfolder. Many blog installation tutorials do not cover subfolder installation, and assume the entire site is just the blog, and we will use the blog engine to maintain static pages (basically making it a CMS). However, my use case is different and I don't want that.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Disable auto save in JetBrains IDE software (IntelliJ IDEA, PyCharm, PhpStorm)

JetBrains provides the following IDE software:
  • IntelliJ IDEA
  • PhpStorm
  • PyCharm
  • RubyMine
  • WebStorm
  • AppCode
  • CLion
Google also provides Android Studio which is powered by the IntelliJ platform.

If you come from a different IDE such as Eclipse, you will be unpleasantly surprised to find that JetBrains-branded IDEs automatically save everything the moment you look away. The proponents argue that as you work on your project, you should not have to worry about saving files. But to others, this auto-save behavior which is enabled by default is a curse that catches them by surprise, and a shocking departure from the workflow they are very much used to.

You can change the behavior by altering some settings.

Friday, April 03, 2015

WhatsApp voice call feature bans regular mobile network calls

With the recent introduction of WhatsApp voice call feature for their Android users (without requiring an invite from one of your friends who have the feature), the WhatsApp client has outright banned the use of regular mobile network to make calls through the app's interface. The WhatsApp developer team (now under Facebook) has decided to make it simply impossible to do what you used to be able to do in their Android client.

Many users have found it very handy to place regular calls to their WhatsApp friends through the app's interface, but with this change, they are forced to take the longer route of going to their home screen, opening the phonebook/contacts list, finding the contact and making a regular call. Or perhaps the slightly better (provided you know about it) but still longer route of opening the "Contact info" screen in WhatsApp, choosing "View in address book" in the menu and making a regular call.

Before the free calls were introduced, WhatsApp allowed making a regular phone call by simply selecting "Call" in the WhatsApp conversation menu. But with the free calls introduced, that option is no longer available, even when it makes sense to make it available.

There are many instances where making regulars calls would be handy.


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